Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Tales from the Top of the World, by Sandra K. Athans

We live in the mountains, so doing a little hiking and climbing is part of most people's lives. A 5.5 -mile hike is no big deal - a Saturday afternoon, maybe.
Climbing 5.5 up other mountains, however, can be a bit trickier - for example, when that mountain is Mount Everest. In Tales from the Top of the World, Sandra K. Athans - a fourth grade teacher - takes us through the process her brother Pete, aka "Mr. Everest", and other climbers go through as they attempt this ultimate challenge.
Tales from the Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest with Pete Athans
The text is written in a very easy style, catching the readers' attention early on with some of the 'wow' facts, and relating the difficulty of the climb without browbeating. Athans' experience with fourth graders has onbviously served her well - she knows how to get the maximum amount of information across with minumim teacher-speak. Kids will zip through the various sections about the history, culture, and where to pee on the mountain.
Yes, that's right, there are designated places to deposit your urine, for very good reasons. I learned a number of things while reading this book, things I wouldn't have thought of before, but which make perfect sense. I knew, for example, that climbers would need to become acclimated to the altitude before starting off, but I never considered what they might do with their time while waiting.
There are enough dramatic stories of falls and rescues to satisfy any adventure-loving young reader, as well as copious use of sidebars for everything from the possible existence of the yeti, to whether or not you should shave. The only thing I would have liked to see more of, is information about the Sherpa. While they are mentioned, I would think they would merit more space.
An excellent nonfiction choice for elementary to middle school libraries, and one older readers may enjoy as well.

Non Fiction Monday

For more great nonfiction choices, click over to Stacking Books, and click on the icon like the one you see above.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a keeper! And very fascinating. I am now really curious to read the facts that you highlight here. I can imagine that the author knows exactly how to write the book considering she has teaching background. Off to find it in my library! Thanks for sharing it on NF Monday.